- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals New Zealand Guide (PDF)
Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience, and expats relocating to New Zealand are often curious about what their new life will be like. To help ease their concerns, we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about living in New Zealand.
Is it expensive to live in New Zealand?
When considering the cost of living in New Zealand, it is important to take into account individual factors such as salary, lifestyle, and dependants. Generally, the cost of living in New Zealand is found to be quite high for expats, although this perception may be relative to their original country of residence. Factors such as housing, transport, food and entertainment can vary significantly depending on location, and expats may need to adjust their expectations or lifestyle accordingly. However, it is also critical to note that New Zealand offers many benefits, such as a high quality of life, excellent healthcare and a relatively low crime rate.
Is it difficult to acquire permanent residency in New Zealand?
There are many ways to acquire permanent residency in New Zealand, but expats will have to live and work in the country for a number of years before they are eligible to apply. New Zealand has many types of visas and work permits available for initial entrance into the country. Certain requirements will then need to be fulfilled before one is able to become a permanent resident.
Is it difficult to get a job in New Zealand?
Expats moving here may struggle to find work in New Zealand as available jobs need to be offered to New Zealand citizens first. That said, as the population of the country is so small, there are often skill shortages in particular industries, where the government will specifically outsource foreigners to fill the role.
How far away is Australia?
‘Not far enough!’ goes the Kiwi joke. In reality, Australia is a little over 745 miles (1,200 km) to the west. Flight time from Auckland to Sydney is two and a half hours, with frequent departures throughout the day.
How safe is New Zealand?
New Zealand is a very safe place, with the Institute for Economics and Peace ranking it second on its Global Peace Index in 2022. Although it has among the lowest rates of robbery and violent crime in the developed world, there are still incidents of crime, so expats should take the usual precautions.
What percentage of the population is Maori?
Around 15 percent of people in New Zealand are Maori, 75 percent are of European descent and the remainder is made up of Pacific Islanders and Asians, among other ethnicities.
►Learn more about living and working in New Zealand in the Expat Arrivals New Zealand guide.
►Pros and Cons of Moving to New Zealand provides further insight into life in the country.
Are you an expat living in New Zealand?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New Zealand. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.